2005 Ford 500 Engine Issues

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Daughter of a lady-friend recently purchased a hunk-of-junk 2005 Ford 500 (205 kmile on it I think). Info about this model here (Edmunds). Due to a severely rough running engine, the car is not roadworthy, so I am giving repairs a try myself before resorting to having the car towed to a mechanic (kid does not have $$ for tow or professional repair at this time, yet badly needs transportation in order to keep her current job). The car is parked outside. Terrible weather today. Weather should be MUCH better tomorrow for me to go back and do some more in-depth troubleshooting. In the meantime, I was wondering if some of our knowledgeable folks would be willing to give me some tips on what and how I should pursue the problems when I go back tomorrow. Before I got involved, the owner had a supposed master-mechanic friend look into the issues. Autozone had read the codes before the car became undrivable and I was told that the Autozone worker advised there was a misfire in #3 and #4. With that info, the mechanic replaced all of the spark plugs (heard it was a SERIOUS pain to access the back side). He also replaced the fuel filter. As far as I can tell from talking to the ladies, that is all he did engine performance related. The ladies seemed to think the mechanic friend wanted to go down the faulty coil path next (coil on plug setup), but he has not been back around in a while. I was informed that the engine ran even worse after the ‘repairs' Using this simple bluetooth code reader(from Amazon), I obtained two codes: P0351 (defective ignition coils, IAC issues, plugs, vac leak, dirty throttle body, etc) P2544 (PCM input issue, torque management request input signal A, and down the rabbit hole we go!). I have not had a chance to poke around under the hood, and only had a short while with the code reader this afternoon, with lots of that time trying to learn how to use its features. I tried to log some data, but I think I failed. May have to try again tomorrow. Here are some observations from memory: 1) Idle is relatively smooth. But, when pushing the throttle to the floor, rpm only goes to upper 2800's with some bumpy missing. Putting the car in gear, holding break, then giving it some gas results in REALLY bad stumbling with almost no power at all. 2) Charting of % throttle position (manifold) data showed ~14% at idle, 20% with the accelerator floored. 20%???? 3) Timing advance moved around from -5 to +5 degrees at idle. Went to +42 degrees at full throttle. 42 degrees???? 4) Charting of 02 sensors showed a rough sine-like wave (several seconds peak-to-peak) on all but bank 2, sensor 2 which held the peak for several extra seconds before going back to zero. 5) Don't know whether it was the data reader or not, but charting fuel pressure resulted in a flat line at bottom of chart. Granted the y-axis auto set itself to a minimum of 70 (that's psig I presume?). So, if pressure was less than 70, it wouldn't show. Didn't know how to re-span the y-axis and didn't spend any time trying. Thoughts?
 
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I have had coil packs go bad on several vehicles - the symptoms you describe could indicate the same.
 

Geauxtiger

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Yeah, that's my first guess, and with no other data, would likely be the next thing I would try. The P2544 code concerns me more.
 
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I had one of those cars and they were pretty good as long as you don't have tranny issues. Those are known for coil problems, so that is of course a possibility. What you can do is move a coil from a misfire cylinder to one that isn't misfiring and see if the misfire follows it. What honestly strikes me as a red flag is that the spark plugs were done. You may want to recheck that job to make sure they are in correctly and gapped properly. The other thing is, as far as I know, the upper intake has to come off to get to the rear spark plugs,if the manifold wasn't put on properly or the gaskets weren't replaced ( my guess would be they weren't) then you may be dealing with a huge vacuum leak in the intake. Possibly a damaged intake if it wasn't put together properly Or something was stripped out and doesn't line up or seal properly or missing a bolt. I wouldn't get too far into electronic diagnostics until you know the basics are covered first. You would be surprised at how many crazy problems you can come across because simple basic maintenance was done wrong or nobody bothered to do it at all. Oh and also check the part number on the spark plugs themselves,auto parts stores have NO CLUE. As for the IAC codes and stuff like that, it very well may be from it idling poorly and trying to stall. You can't just follow each code as a guaranteed problem. Certain issues and symptoms can throw a bunch of unrelated codes.
 
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For the P0351, swap ignition coil for cyl #1 with cyl #2 and see if your misfire changes. If the P2544 is still present after resolving the P0351, you may need to update the engine and trans software in accordance with TSB #05-1-6.
 

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Originally Posted by 71Chevyguy
I had one of those cars and they were pretty good as long as you don't have tranny issues. Those are known for coil problems, so that is of course a possibility. What you can do is move a coil from a misfire cylinder to one that isn't misfiring and see if the misfire follows it. What honestly strikes me as a red flag is that the spark plugs were done. You may want to recheck that job to make sure they are in correctly and gapped properly. The other thing is, as far as I know, the upper intake has to come off to get to the rear spark plugs,if the manifold wasn't put on properly or the gaskets weren't replaced ( my guess would be they weren't) then you may be dealing with a huge vacuum leak in the intake. Possibly a damaged intake if it wasn't put together properly Or something was stripped out and doesn't line up or seal properly or missing a bolt. I wouldn't get too far into electronic diagnostics until you know the basics are covered first. You would be surprised at how many crazy problems you can come across because simple basic maintenance was done wrong or nobody bothered to do it at all. Oh and also check the part number on the spark plugs themselves,auto parts stores have NO CLUE. As for the IAC codes and stuff like that, it very well may be from it idling poorly and trying to stall. You can't just follow each code as a guaranteed problem. Certain issues and symptoms can throw a bunch of unrelated codes.
Yes, the 'mechanic' who replaced the plugs spent most of a day doing the work. The ladies pointed out the intake, as well as lots of related top-of-engine stuff that had to be removed to replace the back plugs. thanks for the advice!
 

Geauxtiger

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Originally Posted by The Critic
For the P0351, swap ignition coil for cyl #1 with cyl #2 and see if your misfire changes. If the P2544 is still present after resolving the P0351, you may need to update the engine and trans software in accordance with TSB #05-1-6.
Thanks. Do you know where I can find the firing order for that engine? Offhand, I do not know which is cylinder #1, 2, etc.
 
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The firing order is 1-4-2-5-3-6. I'd second the coil replacement - that engine has a liking for coils.
 
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If it only revs to 2800 rpm, it might be in jog mode to protect itself. Good advice to focus on the coils. If you're getting an error code related to coils and this engine is known to have coil issues...That's where I'd start. The coils were removed when the plugs were replaced and that could have damaged or made them worse than they were before the "repair". It's nice that you're helping someone out.
 
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Originally Posted by Geauxtiger
Originally Posted by The Critic
For the P0351, swap ignition coil for cyl #1 with cyl #2 and see if your misfire changes. If the P2544 is still present after resolving the P0351, you may need to update the engine and trans software in accordance with TSB #05-1-6.
Thanks. Do you know where I can find the firing order for that engine? Offhand, I do not know which is cylinder #1, 2, etc.
#1, 2 and 3 are the rear bank, with #1 being closest to the passenger side, then 2 and 3. 4, 5 and 6 are obviously towards the front with #4 being closest to the passenger side followed by 5 and 6.
 

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Thanks for the great advice everybody! I'll pursue the coil route tomorrow....assuming I can reach the back coil(s) without completely removing a big portion of the intake. I'm not generous enough to give her my ENTIRE day! LOL. thanks again!
 

JOD

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Originally Posted by Geauxtiger
Thanks for the great advice everybody! I'll pursue the coil route tomorrow....assuming I can reach the back coil(s) without completely removing a big portion of the intake. I'm not generous enough to give her my ENTIRE day! LOL. thanks again!
You can't get to the coil packs w/o removing the intake manifold. Sorry to be the bearer or bad news... That said, given what you describe--while it may be the coils it's more likely the throttle body. These cars are notorious for problems with the throttle position sensor. Basically PWM film gets grooves worn it it when the TB flap gets dirty--causes fluttering of the wipers, which wears a groove into the film. This is why hall sensors are so awesome vs a contact sensor... Once this goes, there is no solution besides a new throttle body. There was actually a recall on these, but replacement was 10 years or 120K, iirc. You can try cleaning the TB and see if it improves, but my bet is that the TB will need to be replaced. Overall, this is a really solid engine. The TB is one of the only faults, and if it's kept clean it's really not an issue. With 30-50K cleanings, I'm still on the original at 200K. Good luck!
 

Geauxtiger

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Was just reading some P0351 troubleshooting techniques. Mentions swapping out coil/wire/plug known-good assembly with a suspected bad assembly then do a test drive and more data logging to see if the problem moved. Pretty much as already stated by a few of you. In my case, I am not sure my cheap diagnostic tool can tell me which cylinder(s) currently has a misfire. If I start moving stuff around between cylinders, I am not sure how I can even follow it. Maybe I have not learned enough about the tool to be able to figure out which cylinder may be misfiring. IF I am just shooting in the dark, maybe i will just have to buy a new coil and just systematically install it on each cylinder until I detect a change? By the way, I am using the TORQUE app on my phone. Free version.
 
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Geauxtiger

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Originally Posted by JOD
Originally Posted by Geauxtiger
Thanks for the great advice everybody! I'll pursue the coil route tomorrow....assuming I can reach the back coil(s) without completely removing a big portion of the intake. I'm not generous enough to give her my ENTIRE day! LOL. thanks again!
You can't get to the coil packs w/o removing the intake manifold. Sorry to be the bearer or bad news... That said, given what you describe--while it may be the coils it's more likely the throttle body. These cars are notorious for problems with the throttle position sensor. Basically PWM film gets grooves worn it it when the TB flap gets dirty--causes fluttering of the wipers, which wears a groove into the film. This is why hall sensors are so awesome vs a contact sensor... Once this goes, there is no solution besides a new throttle body. There was actually a recall on these, but replacement was 10 years or 120K, iirc. You can try cleaning the TB and see if it improves, but my bet is that the TB will need to be replaced. Overall, this is a really solid engine. The TB is one of the only faults, and if it's kept clean it's really not an issue. With 30-50K cleanings, I'm still on the original at 200K. Good luck!
Thanks JOD! Since coil removal necessitates intake removal, I will skip this step and just remove the throttle body for inspection/cleaning/possible replacement. If that gets me nowhere, then the lady will just have to suck it up and have the car towed to the local shop.
 
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You could also get a copy of Forscan which reads Ford specific codes. It's free software.
 

Geauxtiger

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Originally Posted by Wolf359
You could also get a copy of Forscan which reads Ford specific codes. It's free software.
Thanks! I just downloaded it from the PlayStore WIll see if it gives me any more detail when I go back tomorrow.
 
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So the upper intake is super to take off on a Five Hundred. I did a couple before working in parts. The hardest part is taking off the roll restrictor which if you have an impact makes it quick. They shouldn't stop you at all.
 
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Originally Posted by Geauxtiger
Originally Posted by Wolf359
You could also get a copy of Forscan which reads Ford specific codes. It's free software.
Thanks! I just downloaded it from the PlayStore WIll see if it gives me any more detail when I go back tomorrow.
Do you have access to a Windows laptop with Bluetooth? If so download Forscan for Windows. It will give you much more data and will allow you to run some tests on the car like power balance and other self tests. You can see more here: https://forscan.org/
 

Geauxtiger

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Originally Posted by itguy08
Originally Posted by Geauxtiger
Originally Posted by Wolf359
You could also get a copy of Forscan which reads Ford specific codes. It's free software.
Thanks! I just downloaded it from the PlayStore WIll see if it gives me any more detail when I go back tomorrow.
Do you have access to a Windows laptop with Bluetooth? If so download Forscan for Windows. It will give you much more data and will allow you to run some tests on the car like power balance and other self tests. You can see more here: https://forscan.org/
I downloaded Forscan for Android earlier without asking if there was a windows version. I absolutely HATE doing things with the phone with the small screen and limited options. I am headed out to find /download the windows version on my laptop. Yes, my laptop does have bluetooth. Thanks!
 
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BEFORE you replace entire coils, does this happen worse when it's wet/damp outside? Ford Duratec COP systems are NOTORIOUS for cracked coil boots allowing the coil voltage to jump to the cylinder head, creating bad misfire conditions. Make sure when you're swapping coils (the boots might even come apart when trying to remove them) that much attention is paid to the coil boot condition. It might need 0 coils and 3-6 new boots to run well.
 
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